By Marissa Ponikowski - HGTV
When it comes to condos, staying on the cutting edge of style and decor is key. The general perception of what’s
hot and what’s not can change daily, so choosing trendy yet timeless decorating styles and furniture pieces is the
true challenge for the condo dweller. Always keep resale value in mind when you paint or make upgrades.
Chances are, you won’t live in this condo forever and when you do sell, you want the place to be attractive to a wide
demographic–rather than simply to those who share the same tastes you do.
The choice to live in a condo generally means one must commit to living clutter-free. Although most condos have a
storage locker and at least one closet, the space for storage is quite limited compared to that of other types of
homes. That’s why it’s so important to adopt a Zen-like approach to clutter and possessions. If you don’t need it,
sell it, give it to charity or throw it out. If you don’t know where you’ll put it, don’t buy it. Life is much easier without
too much stuff, and condos are much more attractive when they aren’t packed with useless possessions.
When decorating a condo, choose a theme and stick with it. Condos and condo townhouses are generally open-
concept and fairly small, and introducing too many colour schemes will overpower the space. When painting,
choose a colour that you can repeat–for example, paint your bedroom the same colour as your washroom to give
the impression of an ensuite and then chose a lighter or darker version of the shade for the living area and
Dramatic Wood Finishes
It’s tempting to go with deep, dark paint colours when seeking to add drama to your condo decor, but particularly in
a small space, this is not a great idea. Instead, stain the floors a dark oak or cherrywood finish. Cupboards can be
outfitted with dramatic finish as well and furniture in rich distressed black stain is another attractive way to add
depth to your decorating.
Maximize closet space by building shelves and installing closet organizers. Make every square foot count–even
under the bed! Buy thin plastic storage boxes which slide easily into small spaces and use them to store
seasonal clothing, wrapping paper, gift bags and more. Invest in drawer organizers and cupboard shelves, too.
Garish Paint Colours
Lime green may be your favourite colour–and very in to boot–but that doesn’t mean lime is a wise paint colour
choice. If you love it, don’t shy away completely, but don’t make it the main focus of your space, either, as rich
colours tend to dominate. Instead, choose boldly-coloured accessories such as blankets, throws, candles and
vases. If you simply must paint in a dramatic shade, choose a single wall to adorn with shocking colour.
Even if you didn’t upgrade your floors, it’s important to keep them in great condition. Laminate floors should not be
washed with water, because it can leak through cracks and cause bubbling. Instead, sweep well and spot clean
with a damp cloth. If you have hardwood, keep it in mint condition by cleaning and waxing regularly. If you plan to
sell, a floor sand and refinish may be a good investment.
Too Much Bulk
You may not plan to live in a condo forever, and thus would rather invest in furniture that will make the transition
from condo to house with ease – but big, bulky, house-size furniture just doesn’t compute in a small condo.
Choose your stuff wisely, and don’t break the bank on condo furniture. There are bargains to be had, especially on
small, streamlined stuff.
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